42 Things to Consider before Saying "YES!"

So you think that you've found your soulmate and that the deal is done?! While that InshaAllah may be the case, a relationship at ANY stage is worth examining in excruciating detail, especially if you've never really had to analyze it at that deep of a level.

Here's a list of questions/items we came up with for those who are on the path to marriage. They are not exclusively what you should be considering about your potential spouse, but we hope that it's a good starting point. We're obviously not experts and are speaking from our own experiences, but we thought we'd publish this entry to hopefully benefit others.

(NOTE: Even if you have already decided that she/he is the one, these questions should still be addressed!! Don't let "love" blind you.)

1. What do your deep instincts say about the other person? It's often right. And don't doubt your doubts (i.e. red flags)

2. Are you worried about finding a wife who is good cook?! Who cares how good of a cook your potential spouse is, does your stomach supersede your life in this world and the hereafter?

3. While disagreements will arise, that doesn't mean that full-blown arguments are necessary. There are respectful ways of dealing with differing opinions and shouting and swearing is not the best nor it is permissible. If you're always arguing, that's not a good sign.

4. Watch how your potential spouse acts around your family and friends and their relationships with these people. It says a lot about who they are. Are they respectful? Do they show love and concern towards your family?

5. Does your spouse live a lifestyle that would be amenable to yours and your future children?

6. Does your potential spouse try to "one-up" you? Do they always need to be right or are they willing to let things go?

7. How do you feel about spending the rest of your life with this person? Can you imagine waking up next to this person every single day? If you're impatient and can't wait to move forward because things are falling into place, then it feels right. If you're unsure, then it's probably not a good sign.

8. The friends/company they keep will say a lot about who they are. So spend time getting to know those around them.

9. Do you feel that you've become a better person since you've met them, spiritually and with your characteristics? You will need to DIG down DEEP to find the answer to this?

10. Are they honest or do you catch them lying? Are they humble or do they always speak highly of themselves (i.e. ego!)?

11. Do they always have a need to be right? Do they take things too personally and make small matters seem very large?

12. Honestly analyze what you have in COMMON (i.e. beliefs, morals, viewpoint on life, future plans, etc) with the person! Just because you can carry a conversation with someone and agree doesn't mean that you've found your soulmate.

13. If you're only "physically" attracted to a person, or just care about the physical, then you are on the wrong path towards living a happy marriage.

14. If you try too hard to make your potential spouse look good to others, then something is seriously wrong! Do you sugar coat their qualities? The person's qualities should be apparent to others without this. Stop trying to make yourself believe that they are the one.

15. Don't convince yourself and don't lie to yourself if you see red flags about this person. If you are, then it's a cause for concern. He/she is not the only "one" out there.

16. Does your future spouse encourage you to be closer to your family, or does he/she take you away from them?

17. Do you agree with how your spouse dresses and/or interacts with the opposite gender? If not, this may become a problem in the future.

18. Do you agree with his/her bad habits? (i.e. smoking, drinking, flirting, lying, drama-making, etc)

19. Are they loud and attention seeking? Do they do/say ridiculous or hurtful things to get attention?

20. Do they have a short temper? How do they react when someone else's opinions differ from theirs?

21. Are they materialistic and/or do they expect the same of you? (i.e. fancy cars, fancy dinners, brand name clothes, love of celebrity freaks, etc)

22. How is their family's relationships with yours? How would you imagine their relationship to be post-wedding?

23. Do they give you the run around? Do they expect you to always be with them at this stage?

24. Do they show empathy towards how you feel and your concerns? Are they a good listener when you're talking or are they already preparing their response?

25. Do they make you feel better when you're down? Do they do things to make you feel better?

26. Do they make you legitimately smile and genuinely happy without you having to lie to yourself?

27. Are they a control freak? Do they always want things their way? Are they the type, "my way or the highway"?

28. How do they react when they get upset? Do they control their temper, become quiet, throw a fit, shout/scream, verbally abuse you, etc? If you don't like how they react when they're upset, you will have to deal with that for the rest of your life, because some qualities are hard to change.

29. Can you see your spouse being the right one you would like to raise your children?

30. Do you find your spouse backbiting a lot, judging people, or making unkind remarks? If yes, you will have to live with this personality forever and it will one day bite YOU in the back.

31. Do you find that they are often negative? This could be towards things you might say, things that happen, etc. Do you want to live with a negative person or a positive person?

32. How do you see your spouse joining with your life spiritually? Does he/she possess spiritual qualities that you would want to see in your spouse? Are you both on the same spiritual path, or walking in opposite directions?

33. Does he/she blurt out words without thinking? Do they think before they speak? If not, YOU will have to live your life with harsh words flying at you like harpoons. Do you want to live a life walking on pins and needles?

34. Do they watch the way they spend their money? And how do they expect you to spend your money? Do you find yourselves at opposite ends of the spectrum or like-minded when it comes to spending money and managing your finances? Because we live in a financial world, this one is also important.

35. Do they bring you a feeling of tranquility, calmness, and peace? Or do you find yourself in a panic or worried state when they are around you? Do you feel uneasy around them? Do you feel comfortable around them?

36. Do you feel you can truly be yourself around your spouse? If not, then get ready to live a fake life.

37. Does he/she accept you for who you are? This does not include bad habits. Do you feel like you are accepted as you are? Does he/she want to change you, bend you, or mould you?

38. Does he/she compliment you? Does he/she give you praise for doing good things?

39. Does he/she appreciate what you do? Does he/she show appreciation? Is he/she thankful or grateful?

40. Does he/she forgive easily? Do they let go and forgive? Or are they the type to hold on to something forever, and bring it up each time you argue? If so, you will live a life full of hideous de-ja-vues.

41. Is she/he the party type? Do they agree with the way you want to live your life?

42. Does he/she enjoy the simple things in life? Do you like the simple things? It depends on what you want.

If a number of these questions/items are bringing up uneasy feelings in your stomach, then they're definitely worth examining. Remember, marriage is not a game nor is it out of convenience. Also, turn to Allah (i.e. pray Istikhara) and ask for guidance as you make the biggest decision of your life.

May we all be guided InshaAllah.

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